Erdogan: KSA took ‘important step’ but more answers needed

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech to parliament on Tuesday regarding the Turkish account of the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 October 2018
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Erdogan: KSA took ‘important step’ but more answers needed

  • The Turkish president expressed desire to conduct a joint investigation with the Saudis
  • Erdogan said he does not doubt King Salman’s sincerity in the matter

JEDDAH: Jamal Khashoggi’s killers should go on trial in Turkey, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
The Saudi authorities’ declaration last week that Khashoggi had been murdered was “an important step,” Erdogan said, and the investigation would continue until the full facts were known.
“Personally, I do not doubt the sincerity of King Salman,” he said. “It is very important for such a critical investigation to be carried out by objective, fair teams.”
Erdogan said the murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul appeared to have been planned, and he expected Saudi Arabia “to uncover all those responsible for this matter from top to bottom and make them face the necessary punishments before the law.”
He added: “We will of course investigate this murder within our borders and do everything necessary. The fact that Jamal Khashoggi was an internationally renowned journalist puts an international responsibility on us.”
Later, Erdogan called the Khashoggi family in Saudi Arabia to offer his condolences.


Latest Gaza flare-up: What does it mean for the blockaded strip?

This cease-fire, like others before it, is fragile and could easily be derailed. (AFP)
Updated 18 November 2018
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Latest Gaza flare-up: What does it mean for the blockaded strip?

  • “Unfortunately aggression against the Palestinian people will continue.”
  • Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in Gaza since 2008

AFP JERUSALEM: A truce in Gaza has left Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu battling to keep his government afloat after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman walked out in protest.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, welcomed Lieberman’s resignation on Wednesday as a “victory” — but what will it mean for Gaza?

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in Gaza since 2008, interspersed with simmering hostilities and periodic spikes in violence.

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel. The Jewish state, like the US and the EU, defines Hamas as a “terrorist” organization. For over a decade Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on the coastal strip.

An apparently botched Israeli army raid into the Gaza Strip triggered the worst escalation in violence since 2014 and brought the two sides to the brink of war.

On Tuesday, Hamas and Israel accepted an Egyptian-mediated cease-fire. Denouncing it as “capitulation,” Lieberman resigned from his post the next day, leaving the government with a majority of just one seat in Parliament.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared the cease-fire with military powerhouse Israel “a political victory.”

It came after Israel in October allowed Qatar to provide Gaza with fuel to help ease its chronic electricity crisis, under a UN-brokered deal.

In parallel, Egypt and the UN have been seeking to broker a long-term Gaza-Israel truce in exchange for Israel easing its embargo.

The events of the past week gave a boost to Hamas and its allies, said Gaza political analyst Mukhaimer Abu Saada. “But if there is a war that could change,” he said.

After the pounding Gaza took in 2014, most residents want above all to avoid a rerun. Indirect contacts between Israel and Hamas have eroded the status of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

A peace initiative by US President Donald Trump is expected to emerge in the next few months. The PA fears that it will drive the wedge even deeper between Gaza the West Bank, two territories long envisaged as part of a unified Palestinian state.

Jamal Al-Fadi, a professor of political science in Gaza, says such a divide suits Israel. “We can not have results against Israel except by unity,” he said.

This cease-fire, like others before it, is fragile and could easily be derailed.

With the Israeli political tensions unleashed by Lieberman’s departure, there will be fresh domestic pressure on Netanyahu to hit Hamas harder.

“The coming days will be difficult” for Gaza, Al-Fadi said.

“It was a right-wing government and the (next) elections will bring another right-wing government,” he said.

“Unfortunately aggression against the Palestinian people will continue.”